Thursday, January 12, 2012

Still

The outcome was kind of predicted already, especially after the big mess of the interview. However, it still stings to see the ‘Unsuccessful’ word on my UCAS application to the University of Cambridge. Bye, Gonville and Caius.

Stephen Hawking was one of my idol in my secondary school years since I read his groundbreaking book A Brief History Of Time, with his theories about black hole radiation, cosmic stuff and the GUT(Grand Unified Theory) despite being immobilised by the disease that made him dependent on the wheelchair. In the Science stream, I also got to know more about the ingenuity of Isaac Newton – previously just known as ‘the guy who discovered gravity after having an apple bumped on his head’, as a fella who invented (or rediscovered, according to some sources) calculus, formulated the laws of motion that covers the basic particles to planetary orbits. And both of them had links to the Lucasian Chair of the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge is a fantasy, the pinnacle of knowledge as I once thought what all universities were – a place where knowledge flow freely and are pursued without hesitation, a place free from the bonds of society. Now looking at the universities around me, they’re more like degree factories or just further schooling. It has also inspired me to work hard to aim for the top universities which only offer such an environment. However, reality struck in in the sheer realization that there are many more smarter and more capable persons than I am. There is so much more talent in this world.

My current pursuing in the field of aerospace, or more specifically, astronautics is also in a form, a rekindling of a childhood dream of joining the best teams in the world to make those spacecraft and rockets that are sent to outer space. It’s a road less taken, not by the vast majority of reality-conscious Chinese Malaysian who much more prefer steady careers as financial analysts, chemical engineers and actuarial scientists. I cross my fingers and see how far this aspiration of mine can take me to.

Hopefully, one day, I can open my eyes to the white ceilings of the Clean Room in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, facing the next machine that is to be sent to Mars few weeks later.

I hope it’ll come true, I really do.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nightdreaming

As opposed to ‘daydreaming’, when in the actual daytime I spend most of the time fast asleep. 

Now, I’m thinking of the loooooong holidays I’m going to have after my Edexcel exams ends smack in Feb 1. Wild thoughts of almost anything managed to find their way out, so I’m trying to condense them and pick up some of the best ideas I’m thinking of right now.

1. Amateur Telescope Making in Feb – March

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I’ve no idea how long it takes, and whether Dr Chong in USM have the time for it…. but just thinking of making a DIY 8-inch Dob makes me drool. I admit I’m not really cut out for DIY jobs though, I hope Simpson will be able to go together with this trip to Penang.

2. Pegawai Khidmat Singkat in National Planetarium

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I’ve already applied for the job, but so far no replies yet. If I am able to land it I will forgo the other one I suppose. I’ll be able to work in the Planetarium dome with the awesome displays and the zero gravity room, going on events and rocket competitions, and even bring the SS to the Planetarium for a good time! Not to forget the Venus transit in June, I’ll be able to man the booths over there too!

3. Work and Travel at USA (Custer State Park, Apr – June)

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It’s another thing I wish to do during this long break. I’ve also applied for the job, hope I’ll land it in case the Planetarium job falls through. Pay’s good, and I will be able to enjoy the blessed nature of the state park. I really hope I can land it actually, funding myself for more astronomy equip and experiencing the night sky in one go!

4. Singapore Air Show in Feb

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With regards to my university applications as aerospace engineering (the closest i can get to astronautics a.k.a. space exploration) and a love for machines. I just saw a Volunteer application form but they state foreigners are only allowed if they have a work permit bla bla bla. Might write to them… it sounds interesting.

The air show is the closest I can get to experiencing real aerospace near these area I suppose. And I actually have a fantasy of piloting small aircrafts after playing GTA San Andreas hehe, it reminded me of the days back in Kerteh and the small airport over there full with choppers and small planes. 

5.  maybe a Space Camp in MCKL

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Depends on the current committee lol. But that’s an inspiration I got after scanning through NASA’s Year of the Solar System website and browsing through the recommended activities. I visualise a one-week exhibition of the Solar System, followed by a Space Camp featuring a simple bottle rocket workshop, the interesting moon formation station game, and stargazing of the Moon and Saturn at night in the college. The lecturers might also wanna throw in some astrophysics as per Edexcel Physics. Better still, if USM wanna come over and play and maybe have a full-fledged 3D2N astronomy camp! astronomy camps shouldn’t be limited to schoolchildren! 

In conclusion, a job, an astronomy/aviation adventure, and an astronomy outreach before undergrad starts!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shadows

Where the bright light has missed

Hiding things that were left behind, forgotten

Where the remains of things long past

Are yearning for your attention

Where the pieces of days gone by

Their shards are pricking your back

Where memories of them were so vivid

Yet you cannot remember their faces

Where once promises of together forever

Was crumpled like an exercise book paper

Never leave your shadow alone

For it exists, therefore exists you.